England suspend troubled Armitage from Saxons squad

London: England back Delon Armitage`s disciplinary troubles returned to haunt him after he was suspended from the Saxons squad on Monday after his arrest on suspicion of assault following a nightclub altercation, the RFU said in a statement.

"We take issues surrounding the behaviour of England players very seriously and as such have decided to suspend Delon from the Saxons EPS pending the result of the police inquiry. We will then consider if further action is appropriate under the EPS Code of Conduct," England caretaker coach Stuart Lancaster said.

Armitage, capped 26 times by England, was arrested in Torquay on the south coast of England in the early hours of January 29. He has been released on police bail while inquiries continue.

Lancaster had left Armitage out of his elite squad for the Six Nations tournament which starts next weekend and demoted him to the second-string Saxons team.

Armitage, 28, endured a difficult 2011.

He missed the Six Nations through suspension after pushing a doping official, was banned in May for three weeks for punching and was ruled out of the World Cup quarter-final against France for a high tackle.

In November, Armitage was banned for five weeks for a dangerous tackle and striking with his knee while playing for London Irish.

Lancaster, who has said he wants to be England coach on a permanent basis, has already shown he will crack down hard on players who step out of line following a World Cup campaign blighted last year by ill-discipline on and off the pitch.

Scrumhalf Danny Care was left out of the Six Nations squad after a second arrest in three weeks for alcohol-related offences.

"High standards of behaviour are required from England players on and off the field, and they also need to understand that they should not put themselves in a potentially vulnerable position or environment," Lancaster added on Monday.

Bureau Report

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